Dark Dream Your Way Through Fall with Rikroshi

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We don’t know all too much about what the debut album from duo Rikroshi (formerly Bells and Parks) will be like outside of the info on their Indiegogo page (the campaign wrapped up in June), but if the one available single "Watercolor" is anything to go by, winter 2015 is gonna bring us one hell of a dark, beautifully sulky album. This track is a bit gothy/new wave gloom and a bit of a melody that sounds somewhat folk-Asian inspired, and yet it isn’t afraid to really slam on some heavy-ass, big-chord guitar work. The high-pitched wandering voice of singer Tessa Bennecht and said slamming guitar noise complement each other very nicely in "Watercolors," which, as the season changes to something darker and more introspective, feels very apropos to this time of year. It even has a bit of the bittersweetness of the upcoming season that isn’t all shadows and cold, but sometimes is bright and cheery as well, when at the end of the track it goes major for just a few fleeting seconds to fade out on a positive note. It’s intriguing stuff from an artist pair in the midst of transition, and it feels just right as our world too transitions in these dusky months. Listen below, and get in the darkmonth mood.


Wander the Weird World of Shmu in This Psychedelic Album/Video Game Mashup

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Here’s a bit of a fun (and odd) one for you strangeness-loving musicheads out there in Austin-town this Halloween: quirky experimental musician and Zorch-member Shmu has just put out a quite fun album of his layered, colorful music called Shhhh! (which we’ll get to reviewing in full sometime soon), and alongside it he’s released a free compuoter game of the same name to accompany the album proper! This kind-of welcome cross-platform, multi-sensual experience seems to be a bit of a trend with the more boundary-pushing musicians of the day (one of our favorite rappers Malik did something similar not long ago), and it’s one we welcome with gamin’ fingers and music-eatin’ ears at the ready.

In the case of Shmu’s digital package (heh…heh), a quick jaunt through the game appears to say that it’s a kind-of psychedelic post-modern walkabout through a bizarre garden that looks like it was created by shoving the internet in the 90s, the old exploration/puzzle game Myst, a whole lot of high-quality drugs and the music of Shmu together into a digital blender. This game would be what popped out the other end of that imaginary machine, and the gameplay in my experience so far is of the first-person “explore this weird, but peaceful world,” art-piece-style genre (but which has shooter controls in its settings, so presumably at some point there be somethin’ to shoot at).

Shhhh! the game is utterly the perfect atmosphere within which to experience the deep dream pop music of Shmu, and it’s free for both Mac and PC here, so if gettin’ a bit weird with your music-listening appeals to you, this is right up your oddball alley. Also, give one of excellent tracks from the album below to getcha in the weirdness-explorin’ mindset while the game download settles its strange self right on into your ‘puterin machine.


Sky Temple Blues Release Video for “Arrow in the Sun”

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 Nashville-based vintage rock 4-piece Sky Temple Blues have bluesy psych-rock pulsing through their veins. With driving rhythms and wailing guitar riffs, the guys are pumping out high-energy Zeppelin-meets-Soundgarden tunes, and they’ve teamed up with 24th Frame Media to bring us their debut music video for "Arrow in the Sun."

Set in Bikini Atoll Productions’ recording studio, the video captures Sky Temple Blues in their natural habitat: jamming super hard to their latest single.

After watching it, we have to agree with the band. It’s badass.   -Caroline Bowman



222 play at Hotel Cafe tonight

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If you’re looking for tunes worthy of soundtracking only the coolest Halloween party (obviously, the one at *your* house), 222 has got you covered. This electro-dance rock duo released their self-produced debut album, Libretto, earlier this year. They also recently put out an eerie music video for their single One Night Stand, which stars singer/guitarist Jade Howard as a stylish femme fatale, getting back at a date (played by drummer Dennis Hamlin) who has become a bit too attached.

If you’re eager to start the holiday early, 222 are playing at the Hotel Cafe tonight at 9 pm. On Halloween, they’re releasing an early version of a new music video to their mailing list subscribers. It’s for their song "Headcake", and it looks like the band is aiming to up the creepy-factor this time around. – Brittany Scheffler


UK border guards don’t get Solid Goold’s psych pop + send them back to the US

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The guys in NYC psych-fusion-pop band Solid Goold may not realize this now, but what just happened to them is priceless: they experienced (and unwittingly orchestrated) a story so absurd that it will spread like wildfire, and be recalled again and again to their friends and family for the rest of their lives. It will change the mood of many people for the better, and also help them promote their music. Legendary stuff…

We will just paste the core of it below (you can read the full version here): 

"Solid Goold would like to regretfully inform all of you that our European tour has been brutally cut short by the ruthless UK Border Force. We went into our trip blissfully unaware of how serious these borders (especially the UK apparently) really are. An unforeseen cascade of unfortunate circumstances led us to being REFUSED entry to the UK, only to be immediately placed back on a plane to JFK.

We were given advice from someone who admittedly has never attempted to enter the UK as a foreigner to just simply claim we were coming to the UK on holiday and had our instruments just to jam. 

But things (and our white lies) quickly spiraled out of control, culminating in the Border officers finding my 500 SOLID GOOLD BUSINESS CARDS which included a link to this page which resulted in them seeing our 2015 SOLID GOOLD EUROTOUR VIDEO (which was outrageously incriminating to say the least, let alone with an air of goofy/cocky/douchiness thinly veiled as a sense of humor i’m almost positive these officers did NOT appreciate) which was incredibly" embarrassing considering we had just LIED about what we were intending on doing.

Notwithstanding the hilarious turn of events, we wouldn’t be blogging about this if these guys’ music wasn’t good. They released eight track album "Alone in the World" in November 2013, and it’s an eclectic collection of genres minced in small bits and reconstructed in the shape of bizarre psychedelic-pop. Opener "Can’t Be Afraid of" (streaming) features a Barrettesque melody swimming in an orchestral arrangement full of pianos, flutes and horns, switching mid way into an odd bridge that sounds as if Elton John and Procol Harum were asked to play four bars each, over and over, for thirty seconds or so. "Right Eye" recycles Supertramp’s electric piano driven melodies (Supertramp, people, that’s a band that needs to be rediscovered!) but takes them for an unpredictable ride. Traces of reggae, classical music and even jazz emerge here and there in the rest of the record, which follows in the footsteps of NYC pioneers of eclectic/quirky pop They Might Be Giants. Not sure the Brits would have liked this stuff anyway (those guards certainly didn’t), but we do!


Brooklyn singer/songwriter Victoria Reed shares ‘Make It Easy’ video + plays Baby’s All Right 11.2

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The quietly celebratory music video for Brooklyn-via-Detroit singer/songwriter Victoria Reed‘s "Make It Easy" (playing below) is an ode to resilience. Showing the twenty-something Reed wandering through a sunny wood before coming to a blissful scenery at a waterfall, the crisp clip elegantly portrays internal struggle with compassion. Reed wrote the track (featured in her forthcoming debut album ‘Chariot’) as a kind of letter to herself and, with the serene imagery of director Miles Joris-Peyrafitte, she has imbued these accompanying visuals with reflective warmth. ‘Chariot’ is scheduled for release on February 26th, 2016. In the meantime, Victoria Reed plays at Baby’s All Right on Monday (11.2). – Zach Weg


Felte label party at Non Plus Ultra tonight with Sextile, The Tissues, Romy

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Felte Records hosts a show tonight at the Non Plus Ultra, with a disparate lineup to welcome the darkest part of the year. Melbourne’s new romantic punk Romy (A G E N D E R) shares new music from her eponymous project. With a debut EP around the corner, new shuffler The Tissues wipes Los Angeles again, and upstart occultists Sextile will raise the night — stream their debut album One Thousand Hands below. Brooklyn’s Lushes, of the original show lineup, was called to support Kurt Vile before their Europe tour. Label owner Jeff Owens and Lucifersam spin songs at 9. $5 at the door. – Ryan Mo


Weekend Warrior, October 30 – November 1

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Without a doubt, Halloween is our favorite holiday. And we know that you can’t wait to get into a little mischief this weekend. Where would we suggest for you to do that at? It’s tough to say with so many options. You can kick it old school tonight with legendary Philly punks The Dead Milkmen at The Troc and psych rockers Bardo Pond at JB’s, or go way back to the 8-bit sounds of your childhood with Cheap Dinosaurs and Chipocrite at MilkBoy Philly. There is a plethora of cover band bills to choose from so take your pick. Do you want to rock out with your genitals out (so PC, right?) with Ween (featuring members of On The Water, Post Sun Times & Sandcastle) at South Philly DIY (garage) space Cha-Cha’Razzi? Or is watching Vita and the Woolf’s Jen Pague throwing down with her best Sasha Fierce impersonation at MilkBoy Philly your bag? And of course, our old pal TJ Kong will be playing host to his 6th annual Halloween Murder Show at Underground Arts. There’s a lot to consume in costume this weekend; however, we conveniently list the local activities for you below. – The Deli Staff
More places for mischief this weekend…
Johnny Brenda’s (1201 N. Frankford Ave.) FRI Bardo Pond, Kohoutek, SAT An Evening with Sun Ra Arkestra
The Boot & Saddle (1131 S. Broad St.) SAT Sonnder, Awaking Mercury, Last Full Measure
 Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.) FRI Into the Void, SAT Line Leader/Fame Lust, Elijvh Vrms, Jesse Tyler
PhilaMOCA (531 N. 12th St.) FRI M AX NOI MACH, Haldol, SAT Cover Show: Laser Background, Lithuania
Underground Arts (1200 Callowhill St.) FRI PhillyBloco, SAT TJ Kong Halloween Murder Show VI: TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb, Satellite Hearts, Pine Barons, Mercury Radio Theater (Ali Wadsworth + friends doing Aerosmith covers)
Union Transfer (1026 Spring Garden St,) SAT Tunji Ige, Dayo
The Trocadero (1003 Arch St.) FRI The Dead Milkmen
World Café Live (3025 Walnut St.) FRI (Upstairs) Osler Circle Benefit For Children’s Hospital, SUN (Upstairs) (12pm) PROJECT Trio & Jacob Winterstein/(Upstairs) (8pm) Casey Alvarez/(Downstairs) (12pm) Sharon Katz & The Peace Train
Bourbon and Branch (705 N. 2nd St.) FRI The Jawn, The Royal Noise, Aquatic Ape Theory, SAT Pink Slip Daddy, The Greg Phoenix Experience
The Fire (412 W. Girard Ave.) FRI Truant Minds, Rosabelle Believes, Wild By Law, SAT Halloween Cover Show: Adam Rivera (They Might Be Giants), Conversations (Tom Petty & Sheryl Crow), Brian Fitzy (Hall & Oates), SUN Mahatma X, André Altrez, Zaya
MilkBoy Philly (1100 Chestnut St.) FRI Cheap Dinosaurs, Chipocrite, Chronicles of Sound, SAT Halloween: Vita and The Woolf (as Beyonce), The Captain The Pilot The Driver (as The Traveling Wilburys), Pilkington (as Joan Jett), The Orange Drop (as Pink Floyd)
Ortlieb’s Lounge (847 N. 3rd St) FRI Air is Human, Rexedog
Silk City (435 Spring Garden St.) FRI DJ Royale, Francisco Collazo, SAT DJ Deejay
Fergie’s (1214 Sansom St.) FRI American Schoolyard, SAT Brown Sugar
Connie’s Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St) SAT DJ Sean Smoove
Franky Bradley’s (1320 Chancellor St.) FRI Illvibe Collective, SAT Lowbudget, Ed Christof,  Ben Aire, SUN Pot Luck Cabaret
The Grape Room (105 Grape St) FRI Song Dogs, SAT The Funky T, Groove Merchants, Rick & MC, Bohka
Ardmore Music Hall (23 E. Lancaster Ave.) FRI Splintered Sunlight, Catullus (Rocky Horror Picture Show), SAT Start Making Sense: Talking Heads Tribute, Swift Technique (PRINCE VS. MORRIS DAY")
W/N W/N Coffee Bar (931 Spring Garden St.) SUN Abi Reimold, Shakai Mondai
The Pharmacy (1300/02 S. 18th St.) SAT Cheerbleeders, Molly Rhythm
The Rotunda (4014 Walnut St.) FRI Dead, Old Scratch, Bohemian Mule
@714 (714 W. Girard Ave.) SAT Making Time: Pure Halloween
Cha-Cha’Razzi (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI Ween Tribute (Featuring members of On The Water, Post Sun Times & Sandcastle), The Who (Impressionist), Cake (OhBree), Country Classics (Point Breeze Country Club)
Tie Factory (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI Blood Sound
Girard Hall (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) SUN Legs Like Tree Trunks, Vanillalord, Laser Background, Arthur Shea
Mantua Yacht Club (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI Plainview (Weezer), Mike Pays Heat (Counting Crows), Darla

New Track: “Hotline Bling” – Son Little

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Son Little, a.k.a. Aaron Livingston, has put his personal spin on Drake’s “Hotline Bling.” The results deliver a soulful aching approach as Livingston’s wandering guitar licks and vocals meld, turning the lyrics inward. The drafty resonance shifts the tempo in a personal direction. Son Little is set to perform at Johnny Brenda’s on Friday, November 13 on a bill that also includes Xenia Rubinos.


Album review: Major Games – Major Games

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From the retro ‘60s psychedelic album art to their wall of sound performances, listening to Major Games’ self-titled album feels like visiting a sonic circus. Released in the spring of this year, the first full-length album of the Lawrence-based band arrives 4 years after their 2011 EP (EP1, which was just re-released on cassette by This Ain’t Heaven Recording Concern), and each one of the eight new tracks is indisputably worth the wait. Those who have been enjoying their earlier release will not be disappointed—in fact, any fan of noise, shoegaze, or psychedelic will be excited to hear what Major Games has been up to, as will those interested in an introduction to the genre. Their previous five-track EP laid the foundation for Major Games’ seemingly effortless song construction and gritty sound. This new, self-titled album harnesses everything great about those songs and amplifies it into one cohesive Major Games experience: a larger-than-life rollercoaster of noise.
Major Games is made up of Jeremy Sidener on bass and vocals, Doug McKinney on guitar and vocals, and Steve Squire on drums. What immediately stands out on the album is the band’s ability to make a wall of noise sound elegant and cohesive—if you have any doubt, check out the first 50 seconds of “BDBDBD.” Although a solid addition to your road trip playlist, this music is made for hitting play, leaning back, closing your eyes, and soaking up the sound. Sidener’s vocals soar through each track, weaving in and out between layers of instrumental sound with impressive control and range. Lyrically, Major Games comes across introspective, however lyrics take a backseat to the sheer power of the instruments themselves. “Other Location” makes an impact alternating between lightly echoing guitar, and harder, droning noise, creating an unpredictable and layered quality that saturates through the whole album. Other favorite tracks include “Risk,” which will most likely get a crowd dancing, and “Burner,” featuring an unrelenting rolling bass and elaborate guitar work.
Despite its brilliant raw sound, the entire album manages to maintain a quality of precision and clarity. Producer Jim Vollentine, who recorded the album with the band at Black Lodge Recording Studio in Eudora, KS, deserves credit for capturing the force of Major Games’ arrangements. Vollentine’s career includes production and technical work with bands like Spoon and White Rabbits. This album demonstrates serious confidence in their craft and inspired musicianship with no hesitations about breaking the mold. Major Games doesn’t sound like the band is coasting or playing it safe. Their album is a major achievement.
Major Games will make their next appearance on Halloween night at Replay Lounge in Lawrence, with BaioWolf, Young Bull, and Gnarly Davidson. Show starts at 9:00 p.m. Facebook event page.
Mary Kennedy

Mary Kennedy is a lifelong Bostonian learning her way around Kansas City. She can often be found in an art museum, checking out local music, or taking a nap. 


Three noisy NYC bands play Shea Stadium on 11.12: Dead Waves, Clean Girls and Heavy Birds

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NYC gave birth to records such as Metal Machine Music and Deadream Nation, cornerstones of the genre known, by the few initiated, as "noise rock." Disciples of this cult sound abound in the experiment-driven Brooklyn DIY scene, and you’ll have the chance to check out three of them at once on November 12, opening for delicious post punk revivalists Future Punx.

The noisiest and most dissonant of the three bands on this bill appears to be Clean Girls, a Brooklyn based trio hailing from Virginia. Their music is pure post-hardcore fury, although luckily enough – according to their Facebook notes – their drummer/screamer is listed to play the part of "common sense." Listening to streaming track "June Girls will reveal that he obviously has none.

Dead Waves often reference the bright, spacious distortion and driving bass lines of Jesus and Mary Chain, alternating them with explosive moments reminiscent of Nirvana at their wildest.

On the other hand, Heavy Birds, with their droney, sparser arrangements and discernible but obsessive melodies, feature a tamer sound that places them in psychedelic territory (a musical land not immune from the noise bug). Their sound is influenced by both The Velvet Underground and the bands from that ’80s US psychedelic wave called Paysley Underground.

Check out these bands’ music below, and if their music appeals to you, be at Palisades on November 12, with a solid pair of earplugs.